TeenSMART Program Helps Teens to be Better Drivers

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Man driving car

What if we told you that there’s a program designed specifically with your teen driver in mind?

Well, there is.

The teenSMART program is an online course that will educate your teen about the ins and outs of safe driving.

According to the teenSMART website, “Teens that complete the teenSMART program have up to 30% fewer collisions and 51% fewer bodily injury claims than teens that do not complete the program.”

Not only will this course help reduce the amount of accidents your teen may have, it will also give you a discount on your auto policy.

So, how does it work?

It’s simple.

All you need to do is ask your independent insurance agent for the program, but please note that this program is only for participating insurance companies.

This program will come in the form of a downloadable computer link in which you will input a little bit of information before getting started.

From there, you’ll get a discount added to your auto policy if your teen successfully completes the program within 60 days.

Failure to complete the program successfully and within the time frame will result in a loss of the discount.

If you’re interested in the teenSMART course for your teen driver, contact us today and we’ll be glad to help you.

I Have Water Damage, Now What?

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House flooding

You walk into your kitchen and prepare to wash your dishes.

As you turn on your faucet, you notice that the water is starting to fill up the sink and the sink stopper isn’t in the drain.

You also notice that water is starting to overflow in other drains of your home.

You call someone to come out and look at your drains, and they tell you that roots to one of your trees is causing the water back up.

Now what?

This would be one circumstance where water damage is covered by your homeowners policy.

If you’re encountering a water back up such as this one from either the drain, nearby sewer, or your own toilet, it’s important to know what may be covered if there’s damage to your home.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, water damage from backed up drains or failed pumps is one of the most common homeowners insurance claims and is the third most costly after fire and liability claims.

Courtesy of our partners at Safeco, these are a list of examples of what you could expect to be covered or not covered in the event of a water backup.

However, please note that your policy has the final say in what is and is not covered. This list should not be considered a replacement for your policy:

  • Covered- Clogged shower drain and toilet resulting from an obstruction that causes damage to your home.
  • Covered- Tree roots in your yard that cause blockages in your drains and leads to an overflow of water.
  • Covered- Your home’s sump pump causes a flood of water in your basement. (Please note that sump pump coverage is a special add on coverage to most standard homeowners policies and is strongly recommended.)
  • Not Covered- Flooding in your home from a river or dam.
  • Not Covered- A broken sewer line that causes flooding into your home.
  • Not Covered- Your swimming pool or sprinklers cause water to go underground into your home’s foundation.

If you are concerned about what may or may not be covered in your homeowner’s policy, reach out and we would be happy to review your policy and coverages with you even if we aren’t your agent.



Why Your Business Needs to Conduct Pre-Breach Planning

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Man looking at computer screen with the word "Security" above him

You walk into work assuming today will be a regular day of work.

You log onto your computer and proceed like normal.

As you’re working, ransomware suddenly pops up on your screen.

Your computer has been hacked, customer information has been stolen, and the only way to resolve the issue is to give the hacker the amount of money they’re requesting.

What do you do?

If you must ask this question, you’re facing an even bigger problem than the hack itself.

The question is not what you should do but how you can plan to minimize a data breach.

This is where pre-breach planning comes in.

There are two things you need to do when it comes to pre-breach planning: plan for how to avoid a data breach and plan for how to respond to a data breach.

You can do both by following these pre-breach planning tips:

  • Train Your Employees— You can’t effectively plan for something you don’t understand or have any knowledge on. Train your employees on the ins and outs of cyber security and data breaches (how to recognize malware and phishing emails etc.) The more they know, the more prepared they will be to handle cyber attacks.
  • Who’s in Your Data Breach Team? — Don’t forget to designate people to assist you in planning and responding to a data breach. Usually, these are the departments that you will need to include:
    1. IT
    2. Legal
    3. HR
    4. Communications/PR
  • Encrypt, Encrypt, Encrypt! — Always remember to encrypt your data to the best of your ability. Aim for the strongest passwords and firewalls. Make it difficult for hackers to access your company’s information.
  • Communicate with Third-Party Vendors— If your company is affiliated or partnered with third-party companies, you will need to make sure your data is protected with them as well. You may have to work together to ensure that hackers will not be able to access your personal information through your vendors.
  • Protect Your Data— We know we’re stating the obvious here, but we can’t stress this enough. Determine what encryption methods and procedures are best for protecting your company’s data. You also need to consider the best ways for storing your data.
  • Get Cyber Insurance— Don’t just get any form of cyber insurance. Get a policy that will specifically target your company’s risks and vulnerable areas.
  • Work with a Pro— If you have questions about cyber security and data breaches, talk to a professional. We are here to help you determine the best ways to protect your company’s data.

Don’t let your company become a cyber statistic. Contact us today to see how we can help you with your pre-breach planning and find the cyber insurance policy that works best for you.